REVIEW: The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

FullSizeRender (63)In the city-state of Gujaareh – peace is the only law. The Gathers are the keeper of the peace, their duty is to use magic to heal, soothe and kill those who are judged corrupt. But when a conspiracy blooms within the great temple, Ehiru – the most famous and skilled of the Gatherers – is forced to question everything he knows and has ever believed in. As someone – or something – is stalking the streets of Gujaareh, killing innocent people and Ehiru and his apprentice Nijiri must protect a woman they were ordered to kill and try to save their city from war and forbidden magic.

The Killing Moon is a fantasy novel that is unlike anything I’ve read before. Unlike a lot of fantasy, which feels like its set in medieval Europe, The Killing Moon is in a world that is like ancient Egypt or Persia. This gave the novel a different feel and made it different and more interesting to other fantasy novels I’ve heard of or read. While I did come to enjoy and like this different setting it was a bit hard to get into to begin with – but that could have been the fact it as a fantasy novel in general as it’s been ages since I’ve read fantasy that’s so completely different to my everyday world.

Ehiru has so much faith in his role as a Gatherer and the Hananjan religion that it often blinds him to other people’s aims and the politics of the city. Nijiri is easy to anger and very proud but he is also incredibly loyal to Ehiru. They make an odd pair as they work together to find out what is going on in their homeland. Sunandi is an incredibly strong, resourceful woman who will do what she can to uncover the lies and plots in Gujaareh in order to save her home, the neighbouring country of Kisua. There were tonnes of other character (which was sometimes confusing) that were also interesting and diverse. I really liked how every single character is flawed and makes mistakes – it made them feel very well-rounded and real.

I loved the politics in the world of Gujaareh in The Killing Moon and how that relates to the city’s religion. It was written in great depth and because of that it made the world feel more real and when dangers threatened the city and the characters, it felt more deadly because of this.

The Killing Moon is the first book in a duology but it ends in a very satisfying way (aka there’s no big cliff-hanger) so it feels like a complete story. If you are interested in fantasy stories that are different to a lot of the usual medieval swords and dragons and kings stuff then definitely check out The Killing Moon.

There are a lot of characters and it is a bit confusing to start with as they all have very different names and it’s hard to keep up with who’s connect to who but once I got into the world and its lore I soon fell into the story and will be checking out the second book in the duology, The Shadowed Sun, when I can. 4/5.

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